Recent advances in understanding the importance of angiogenesis to tumor growth and distant metastasis has driven the development of antiangiogenic therapies for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) monoclonal antibody, bevacizumab, is the only US Food and Drug Administration-approved antiangiogenic agent for advanced NSCLC. Accumulated safety data with bevacizumab in NSCLC shows that patients are at risk for hemorrhage, venous thromboembolism, hypertension, and proteinuria. Investigational agents that target VEGF via a different mechanism (such as aflibercept [VEGF Trap]) or simultaneously inhibit multiple molecular pathways involved in angiogenesis (ie, multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors [TKIs]) and vascular disrupting agents (VDAs) that target existing tumor vasculature are in various stages of clinical development for NSCLC, and safety profiles are emerging for these classes of agents. This review describes the molecular rationale for targeting angiogenic pathways in anticancer therapy and summarizes safety and tolerability data from clinical trials of bevacizumab or aflibercept in combination with chemotherapy and the investigational TKIs and VDAs in patients who have advanced NSCLC.
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